Blue Lou's Reports From the Road

   We had planned on going to Riverton,WY,after Jackson,but it fell through....
so we packed up and headed home. It was a very long trip,made longer by the anticipation-
I collapsed into bed for several hours,got up to eat a bite,and went back to bed...
woke up to do all the usual sorting out after being gone for awhile,and got a call
from Marci...."we're going to Minnesota." OK,when...?   "Now." Holy Cheeses!! here we are at the Grand Casino,in Hinckley,MN....filling in for a group
that couldn't make it,(and completing the originally planned schedule).
Oh,and by 'we',I mean the new and improved MMB.
   What happened?.....well,Mick got a gig on a cruise ship,out of Galveston(Ithink)
and Mike was.....well,disinterested is a good word.
   The problem was,they both checked out at about the same time--and the band had
gigs booked......enter Michael Fitch and Randy Harkin.
   Michael drove up from Oklahoma,and the three of us went on to Superior,WI,
and Shooter's. We had been there before,so it wasn't quite so nerve-wracking
having an unrehearsed rhythm section. We had the usual fumbles and false starts
one would expect from a new lineup,but all in all,everyone managed to keep a sense of
humor and entertain the folks......
March 3rd'04
   When our time was up,the next job was some days away...and Marci had read
in the paper about the Nashville Star competition being held in
...she hurriedly downloaded/printed the entry forms. These forms were more
thorough,required more info,than the stuff I filled out to join the military!!
Page after page,many with ambiguous,open-ended questions....strange stuff.
But she got them completed,and we all piled out of bed the morning of the 1st day,
so as to arrive at the Mall of America by 9:00 AM. When we got there,
it was pretty much a cattle-call,and it took hours to wade through the entry process.
   She did well,(I had no doubt),and was told to be back the next day,same time.
So we drove back to Superior...and piled out next morning,loaded the trailer& van,
and drove to Minneapolis.Thus began one of my longest days in The Life....
at this point I'd had precious little sleep for 2 days--but the energy level was building.
The guys and I had pretty much done the Mall on the previous day,so we had little
to do but watch/critique the other acts and anguish over the day's outcome---
Marci was in the second stage of competition,so she was jazzed & worried by turns.

(Side Note)

   Again,she did well...and was told to be back the next day,at 2:00 PM....WooHoo!
....but now came the problem...we were scheduled to be in Davenport IA,at the
Isle of Capri Casino,at 7:00 PM that way to drive that distance,and be ready.
Moreover,the judging committee required a videotape,suggesting it contain
introductions/interviews of family and friends,who were,of course,unavailable--
not to mention performances of two songs being mandatory.
What to do?